What is great about WordPress is that it allows you to make interesting connections with other people with similar interests in pleasantly surprising ways. Allison Morris, a reader of my “Digital Scavenging: The Albert Einstein Brain App” post, recently contacted me about an interactive brain map that she helped to create. It explains basic brain function. With her permission, I am posting screenshots of this brain map, but you can try it out for yourself at the following link: Beneath the Thinking Cap: The Functions of the Basic Brain – OnlineCollegeCourses.com.
To go on this graphic tour of the brain, you click on a part of the brain that you want to learn about, and then more information appears underneath additional graphics when you hover over them:
There is even a little information about the structure of Albert Einstein’s brain in this educational interactive piece. I hope you enjoy checking it out as much as I did!
If you have visited my blog recently, you might notice a few posts are missing. I took them down after I read an article called “Blogger Beware: You CAN Get Sued for Using Photos You Don’t Own on Your Blog.” The author of this article, Roni Loren, was sued by a photographer after she took one of his photos from Google and posted it on her website. From this experience, she learned that providing a link to the source of the photo, giving credit to the photographer, and taking other measures bloggers generally use in connection with posting other people’s photos online are not enough to protect bloggers from liability. She warns that if you don’t want to be sued for copyright infringement, you should get permission from the photographer directly, or you can use your own photos, Creative Commons licensed pictures, and public domain photos.
I thought giving attribution to the source of the photos I posted online was enough, but now I know that it is not. I am not taking any chances, so the posts featuring other people’s photos are now down. Here are the links used in the missing posts (at least these are okay to share):
Smithsonian Magazine 2012 Photo Contest:
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/photocontest/10th-annual/10th-Annual-Photo-Contest-Finalists-Natural-World-194333591.html#ixzz2STciFfng
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter
Smithsonian Magazine 2013 Photo and Video Contests:
Weston Sand Sculpture Festival 2013
Spawning Underwater Fish Tornados
Hilarious Men’s Fashions
“I’ve Seen the Future of Men’s Fashion and I’m Afraid”
Beautiful Holiday Light Displays
America’s best places for holiday lights
From the beautiful to the barmy: Christmas lights around the world
Weird Road Signs
“Weird road signs contest: Which one is wackiest?”
I will have to rethink how I will do posts on photography in the future. I do not really want to go through all of the trouble of tracking down photographers in the hope that they will allow me to use their pictures on my humble blog. Some of them may also charge a fee for this permission as well.
If you are not happy with the hyperlink color that appears on your blog, you can change it. A simple way to do this is to change the color of the text of the hyperlink before you hit the Insert/edit link button.
Here are some examples that provide links to the WordPress forum post where I found this helpful tip.
Freshy Theme Links
Freshy Theme Links
You can even bold and/or italicize the hyperlink text as well as add color to it before creating a link:
Freshy Theme Links
Freshy Theme Links
Freshy Theme Links
Now you can experiment and find out which combination of font style (regular, bold, italic) and font color will work best for your blog.
I was looking on the Internet for some new WordPress news this evening. Unfortunately, I came across some bad news in this TechCrunch.com article by Frederic Lardinois:
Hackers Point Large Botnet At WordPress Sites To Steal Admin Passwords And Gain Server Access
Here is a second related article from krebsonsecurity.com:
Brute Force Attack Builds WordPress Botnet
Basically what is happening is that some computer hackers are trying to take over WordPress sites with default “admin” usernames and weak passwords. If they can successfully hack into these WordPress sites, these sites will become “bots” or “zombies” that they can control without the knowledge of the site administrators. Their goal seems to be to use the compromised sites to take over the Web servers of these sites and then create an even larger network of bots (a botnet) made up of these infected Web servers. Think of the chaos they could cause on the Internet with a large botnet.
WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg addresses this botnet issue in a recent blog post called “Passwords and Brute Force”. He recommends several measures you can take to protect your WordPress blog from this threat:
If you still use “admin” as a username on your blog, change it, use a strong password, if you’re on WP.com turn on two-factor authentication, and of course make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest version of WordPress.
Please note there are active resource links in his quote. It would be a good idea to use them if you need to.
As you can see from the notification above, I started this blog one year ago today (it is still March 15th in my time zone). What began as a class project is still a work in progress. At first, I thought this blog would mainly involve graphic design and web design topics, but now I am happy that I have changed direction. I have enjoyed offering WordPress tips, sharing great photos, and writing posts about weird and funny topics this past year.
I am glad to know that other people have enjoyed them too. This is going to sound like an Academy Award acceptance speech, but I would like to thank the people who have visited both of my blogs as well as the people who have decided to follow them. I would also like to thank the people who have taken the time to like some of my posts and/or comment on them. I appreciate your support.
Well, let’s see if I can make it through another year.
Now that the one year anniversary of my blog is coming up in March, I think it is time for me to learn how to back up both of my blogs. I looked for some articles about this topic, and I came across this WordPress forum: Backup My Blogsite « WordPress.com Forums.
This forum discussion outlines four ways to back up a free WordPress blog:
- using an offline blog editor
- subscribing to your blog’s RSS feeds
- using the Export tool in your dashboard to save backup copies of your blog
- using Feedburner and Gmail
I tried the first three methods in the order they appear in this list. I did not try the fourth method because I am not very familiar with Gmail.
I was eager to try the offline blog editor method first because I discovered that Word 2007 is an offline blog editor, and I have a copy of this program. However, I went through the steps listed in this article and found it somewhat inconvenient. You have to register (provide your WordPress account information) in order for your blog post to be published. According to the article, you can add text, photos, and links to your blog post created in Word 2007. As I typed text and poked around the Word 2007 blog template, I kept thinking how much easier it would be to go directly to the WordPress dashboard and type everything in a new WordPress post. I decided to close the Word 2007 blog post without registering or saving my work. While I did not like using the offline blog editor, this method might work for someone else. In addition, there are other offline blog editors besides Word 2007. You can see a list of them in “Offline Editing”.
The next method I tried was subscribing to your blog’s RSS feeds. I found this method easier than using the offline blog editor, but it requires setting up an RSS feed if you do not have one. The theme of my blog, Pilcrow, has an RSS widget. I activated the RSS widget and added it to the sidebar of my blog. Then I subscribed to my blog using my browser. You just have to make sure you are actually subscribed to the feed of your blog in order for this method to work. You should also be aware that there may be a limit on how many posts will be saved on the feed. For example, I noticed in the “View Feed Properties” dialog box in Internet Explorer that the maximum number of posts that can be archived in a feed is 2500. This is why it is probably better to use the Export tool for long-term archives of your blog.
The Export tool (under the Tools section in your dashboard) will allow you to save all the content of your blog or portions of it (posts, pages, or feedback) as an XML file. It is easy to do and free if you can do it on your own and not select the “Guided Transfer” option, which costs $129. The only major problem I can see with using the Export tool is forgetting to use it periodically to back up your blog.
I think about how many hours I have spent on this blog and how smoothly my blogging experience has gone so far. I am pretty sure I would be shocked if one day I visited my blogs and they were gone not out of choice but for some other reason. It would be comforting to know that I had backup files of my blogs and that I did not have to start all over again from scratch. I think backing up your blogs is especially important to do if you are using your blogs for business purposes.